Candidate: Melanie Stansbury

Candidate’s Website: melaniefornm.com

Section 1
Candidate’s Responses to Yes-or-No Questions, with Optional Comments

Click on the questions to expand or collapse the view.

1. Do you support the platform of the Democratic Party of New Mexico in full?

Yes.

2. Will you co-sponsor the Green New Deal?

Yes.

3. Do you support a ban on manufacture, sales, and ownership of assault weapons (large magazine, fast rate of fire)?

Yes.

4. Will you co-sponsor Medicare for All?

Yes.

5. Do you support statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico?

Yes.

6. Do you support federal funding for paid sick leave?

Yes.

7. Do you support the abolition of private prisons?

Yes.

8. Do you support public financing of federal campaigns to eliminate corporate donations and PACs?

Yes.

9. Do you unconditionally support all legislation to grant budgetary increases for the New Mexico federally-funded laboratories? If not, please explain your conditions.

Yes.

10. Do you support repealing the Hyde Amendment to allow abortion coverage for federally-funded health care recipients, including people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, and people in immigration detention facilities and prisons?

Yes.

11. Do you support the cancellation of all student loan debt?

Yes.

12. Do you support universal, federally-funded child care?

Yes.

13. Do you support free public universities and colleges, including career and technical education?

Yes.

14. Do you support legalizing recreational cannabis and providing amnesty for all nonviolent drug offenders?

Yes.

15. Do you support fully funding the Indian Health Services and expanding services?

Yes.

16. Do you support a real path to citizenship for undocumented people living in the United States?

Yes.

17. Los Alamos National Lab is making plutonium pits (the core) for nuclear weapons. As a U.S. representative, you can ask for a site-wide environmental impact statement. Would you do that?

Yes.

18. In 2018, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced a bill to end the U.S. military's participation in Saudi Arabia’s war in the Republic of Yemen, a war that has not been authorized by Congress. Do you support this bill?

Yes.

19. In 2020, Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would cut the Pentagon budget by 10% and take the savings to create a domestic federal grant program to fund health care, housing, childcare and educational opportunities for cities and towns experiencing a poverty rate of 25% or more. Do you support this amendment?

Yes.

20. In view of the revelations from Edward Snowden that the federal intelligence apparatus is surveilling, without warrant, the lawful communications of millions of U.S. residents, do you favor Congressional hearings that would investigate these privacy concerns?

Yes.

Section 2
Candidate’s Responses to Questions

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1. Give us examples that demonstrate your past work to advance progressive values.

As a New Mexico legislator, I have helped write and pass legislation that helped move our progressive values forward, from approving resources to address COVID, canceling school lunch debt, to improving water resilience in our state.

2. What makes you a more viable candidate than your opponents?

I was born in New Mexico and grew up right here in Albuquerque in a working family of trades people and small business owners. My mother raised me on her own - working as a seamstress and heavy equipment operator. I grew up helping my mom to sew garments, operating equipment and digging trenches, and bussing tables nights and weekends.

Like so many families in our community, my family worked hard — but often struggled to make ends meet. For me, this struggle is a lived experience that has driven my work in community development, hunger, homelessness, and water security. From cleaning acequias in Northern New Mexico to working on water policy in our nation’s Capitol -- my journey has included working in the White House Office of Management and Budget and in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. During that time, I helped write bills and Executive Orders. I worked on the Federal budget and helped develop agency policies. I worked on water, climate, conservation, science, and tribal affairs. And, I visited communities across the country and listened and learned from their stories. It's critical that we elect someone who understands New Mexico and our communities, who knows the system, who understands the science,  and who will fight every single day for our people in Washington DC. I am running for Congress to continue to fight to address hunger, homelessness, and water insecurity, for access to healthcare and broadband, social and economic justice, and to tackle climate change.

3. Do you have an executable plan to end fossil fuel extraction on public and tribal lands? If yes, what is it?

My plan to address our carbon footprint and tackle climate change includes banning extraction on Tribal and public lands. To do so we must help our communities be resilient and diversify our economy. Through economic diversification we will grow our green economy and transition away from the dangerous reliance on oil and gas. In this State Legislature, I introduced HB9 - The Climate Solutions Act, which is a comprehensive bill that helps foster resilience and economic diversification, creates a foundation for a just transition to a clean economy, and bring the most impacted and historically disadvantaged communities to the table and empower those communities to shape their future. In Congress, I will continue this critical work and put legislation into place to protect sacred land and water.

4. What is your plan to transition the United States to 100% renewable energy?

My stance on a renewable energy future is best stated in Rep. Deb Haaland’s THRIVE Resolution of 2020, which resolves that “It is the duty of the Federal Government to respond to the crises of racial injustice, mass unemployment, a pandemic, and climate change with a bold and holistic national mobilization, an Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (‘‘THRIVE’’).” My plan would use three central pillars as a guide. Firstly, we need a target of 100-percent clean energy, including through clean electricity standards and aggressive economy-wide emission reduction targets. Secondly, a worker-focused approach is imperative to building a clean future which includes good-paying, high quality jobs. Thirdly, a commitment to environmental justice action is vital. States have already taken preliminary steps to develop policies that would advance environmental justice, including by identifying and cutting disproportionately high levels of toxic pollution in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and communities of color.

5. Do you have a plan to close the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay? If yes, what is it, and what would you do with the remaining detainees?

The unconstitutional and brutal tactics employed at Guantanamo Bay have been a stain on the fabric of American society. Nearly 800 men passed through the cells of Guantanamo, where they were tortured and interrogated without counsel or trial.  Many of those men have been proven to have no connection to terrorism.  We have a great example of two New Mexico lawyers, Nancy Hollander and Teri Duncan getting a Guantanamo detainee released - Mohamedon, who ended up having no connection to terrorism whatsoever. We need to close Guantanamo, repatriate those who are detained but approved for release, and bring those actually responsible for atrocities against the American people to trial in federal court.

6. Do you have a substantive plan to increase police accountability? If yes, what is it?

We have to reform policing in America so that police are held accountable for misconduct and transparent to the people they serve. Representative Haaland was an original cosponsor of H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which limited qualified immunity and addressed racial inequity, data transparency, and police accountability, and was an integral first step in combating the structural racial inequity of this country, in which policing practices play a vital role. I plan to continue this work by advocating for my district and for all people of color. In Congress, I will support legislation to demilitarize our police, ban violent practices like chokeholds, increase transparency and accountability standards, help fund and modernize police training, and change the culture of policing. 

7. Do you have a plan to increase broadband access and affordability in tribal and rural areas? If yes, what is it?

The pandemic shined a light on the disproportionate impacts on communities with little to no internet access who now struggle to access online learning in addition to telehealth. Investing in broadband must be a priority and continue to be included in COVID recovery packages. In Congress, I will support legislation to invest in broadband infrastructure and digital equity projects.

8. It’s been over a year since the Washington Post published the Afghan Papers, a mass trove of secret U.S. government documents that detailed a coordinated effort by the U.S. government, through three presidential administrations, to lie to the American people and their elected leaders, about the war in Afghanistan. What is your position on the U.S. war in Afghanistan?

The fact that the U.S. still has troops in Afghanistan is a failure of the Trump administration that promised to end our long overseas wars. My number one goal with the war in Afghanistan is the removal of U.S. troops from the country.  On Wednesday February 3, 2021 a Congressionally appointed bi-partisan panel released a report recommending that the U.S. slow it’s removal of troops from Afghanistan currently scheduled to be completed by May 1, 2021. The reason for this recommendation is that  they believe that a withdrawal of troops based on a specific date could lead to a civil war in Afghanistan. Instead the panel recommends troop withdrawal based on the Taliban’s adherence to a February 2020 peace agreement aimed at reducing violence and increasing security in Afghanistan. While I take this recommendation seriously and certainly do not wish for the U.S. removal of troops to cause a civil war in Afghanistan or leave the U.S. open to incrased terrorism we must have and adhere to a plan and goals for removing U.S. troops this would include clear benchmarks and timelines based on a peace agreement as well as a final end date when we conclude that we can no longer afford diplomatically or otherwise to maintain the presence of U.S. troops in the country.

9. Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I grew up right here in Albuquerque. I know the strength and resilience of our community, and I know that when we put our hearts and our minds together, our community thrives. In Congress, I will continue to fight to address hunger, homelessness, and water insecurity, for access to healthcare and Broadband, and social and economic justice. And my number one priority will be to tackle the most significant challenge of our time: which is global climate change.

I will fight for New Mexicans. For the dignity and needs of our people. Because the moment we are living in history demands not just that we have a strong voice and representative in Washington, but requires a fundamental transformation of our politics and ways of doing things.

We have to reimagine our future and build something entirely different. A world that is more just, more equitable, and more resilient. That’s why it’s critical that we elect someone who understands New Mexico and our communities, who knows the system, who understands the science, and who will fight every single day for our people in Washington D.C.

And that’s why I’m running to be the next Congresswoman representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.